I was participating in the Global Peace & Love Meditation on Sunday facilitated by Julianne Chazotte. While listening to her guided meditation, I was filled with deep feelings of love and peace. It felt so blissful. I thought about the simplicity of every person on the planet feeling these beautiful feelings and connecting with the oneness and universality of the human experience. I saw how world peace is possible. No sooner did I have that thought, I remembered how I had not been feeling particularly peaceful lately with regard to my two daughters. I thought, "How can world peace be possible, when I don't even feel peaceful towards two of the people I love most in the world?"
This is the exquisite paradox. How we as humans can move from the sacred to the profane in the blink of an eye.
Deep peace does not require that we feel peaceful all the time. Deep peace comes from understanding that our emotional experience is like the waves on top of the ocean. Below the surface is the deep calm that is always there even when we are not experiencing it. We have access to the changeable thoughts of our personal mind, and we can also experience the universal thought of the impersonal mind. We are human and spiritual.
What allows me to access the deep peace more often and to act out less from the choppy waves of my personal thinking is understanding that my reactivity is not caused by external experience. In this example, my peace being disturbed has nothing to do with my daughters. Even though I agreed with my husband, Angus', comment that being parents of teenagers is like being unpaid hostel workers. I know my experience of feeling unappreciated is coming from inside of me and has nothing to do with them. My thoughts are being brought to life in my nervous system. I feel my thinking, just as we all feel our own thinking and not the outside world.
This does not mean that their behavior does not have room for improvement. It does, and I also don't have to take it personally. It is just as well that their privacy does not allow me to get caught up the in the weeds of sharing the details. Instead, I am required to focus on the bigger picture of seeing that my peace and world peace start from the inside.
When I loose touch with the deep feelings of peace inside of me, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. My personal thinking sometimes gets stirred up and looks compelling to me so I focus on it rather than looking in the direction of my true nature and the oneness of everything. Understanding what is happening when this occurs, is what helps me to navigate the turbulence. I don't always need to feel peaceful to know that peace exists, and it is on the other side of an upsetting experience. This understanding also makes me less prone to angry outbursts when I know my peace is found inside rather than by changing things on the outside. And, when my reactivity gets the better of me, it is easier to apologize more quickly and authentically for my transgressions because I see I got caught up in the storm of my reactivity that is never anyone else's fault.
Being human is a messy experience. I get muddied up in the darker emotions. Just as we all do. But deep peace is beyond this and untouched by this. If we know we are resilient and can get muddied up and be washed off, it is easier to move gracefully between our personal and impersonal experience. This means I can feel angry and hurt as a mother one moment and feel the deep unconditional love for my children in another. Both are real in terms of my experience, but the anger and hurt are transitory. The unconditional love is unchanging. It gets hidden by my changeable personal thinking at times, but it is always there.
When I know the impermanence of my suffering, and the permanence of my wellbeing, it is easier for me to ride the waves of my upset. Taking a breath makes more sense. Biting my critical tongue looks like a good idea. When we know that the experience of peace and love is found inside and is untouched by our outside circumstances, an eye for an eye doesn't make sense. Whether it is a tit for tat with a teenager or a full-scale military retaliation. When we see that peace is not determined by circumstances, we start to look in the direction of its source -- where it truly resides.
When we experience the source of who we are, we are filled with the deeper feelings of peace, love, and compassion. Our judgments naturally melt away. They no longer block us from experiencing our true nature. From this state of mind it make sense to forgive and forget. It no longer looks like a good idea to fuel the thinking that adds to our own suffering. Instead, we see possibilities and solutions to explore. It is easy to extend a hand in peace when we are in peace. And it is possible when we are in disharmony to remember that peace is our natural state so we are more like to allow ourselves to settle down and fall into the depths our wellbeing rather than acting out and fueling our negative thinking. This is as true for me as a mother as it is for us as a global community.
Sending everyone Peace and Love!
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a psychotherapist, a transformative coach, and author of the forthcoming Soul-Centered Series. She helps individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. She also co-facilitates The Space Mastermind for Solopreneurs with Barb Patterson. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her blog on her website, www.rohiniross.com.